Rail Traffic for the Week Ending July 3, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 7, 2021

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending July 3, 2021, as well as volumes for June 2021.

U.S. railroads originated 1,175,232 carloads in June 2021, up 19.1 percent, or 188,164 carloads, from June 2020. U.S. railroads also originated 1,386,745 containers and trailers in June 2021, up 10.9 percent, or 136,634 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in June 2021 were 2,561,977, up 14.5 percent, or 324,798 carloads and intermodal units from June 2020.

In June 2021, 19 of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with June 2020. These included: coal, up 84,109 carloads or 33.5 percent; chemicals, up 22,660 carloads or 16 percent; and metallic ores, up 20,228 carloads or 164.6 percent. It was farm products excluding grain, down 425 carloads or 10.6 percent.

“U.S. rail volumes in the second quarter of 2021 reflect an economy that is in much better shape than it was but still has room to grow,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “In the second quarter, total U.S. carloads were the highest since the fourth quarter of 2019; carloads excluding coal were the highest since the third quarter of 2019; and intermodal and chemical volumes were both the highest for any quarter in history. Carloads of steel-related commodities were also relatively strong in the second quarter, reflecting higher demand as the industrial economy continues to recover.”

Excluding coal, carloads were up 104,055 carloads, or 14.1 percent, in June 2021 from June 2020. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were up 100,564 carloads, or 15.9 percent.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first six months of 2021 was 6,002,525 carloads, up 9.4 percent, or 517,580 carloads, from the same period last year; and 7,332,067 intermodal units, up 17.5 percent, or 1,093,832 containers and trailers, from last year.

Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 26 weeks of 2021 was 13,334,592 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 13.7 percent compared to last year.

Week Ending July 3, 2021

Total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 512,919 carloads and intermodal units, up 17.1 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending July 3 were 236,846 carloads, up 22.8 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 276,073 containers and trailers, up 12.6 percent compared to 2020.

Nine of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included coal, up 17,570 carloads, to 66,380; metallic ores and metals, up 9,419 carloads, to 23,185; and chemicals, up 6,179 carloads, to 34,869. One commodity group posted a decrease compared with the same week in 2020: grain, down 794 carloads, to 19,863.

North American rail volume for the week ending July 3, 2021, on 12 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads totaled 329,932 carloads, up 18 percent compared with the same week last year, and 355,466 intermodal units, up 11 percent compared with last year. Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 685,398 carloads and intermodal units, up 14.3 percent. North American rail volume for the first 26 weeks of 2021 was 18,194,144 carloads and intermodal units, up 12.2 percent compared with 2020.

Canadian railroads reported 72,692 carloads for the week, up 5.1 percent, and 64,113 intermodal units, up 4.9 percent compared with the same week in 2020. For the first 26 weeks of 2021, Canadian railroads reported cumulative rail traffic volume of 3,921,754 carloads, containers and trailers, up 8.9 percent.

Mexican railroads reported 20,394 carloads for the week, up 15.1 percent compared with the same week last year, and 15,280 intermodal units, up 11.1 percent. Cumulative volume on Mexican railroads for the first 26 weeks of 2021 was 937,798 carloads and intermodal containers and trailers, up 4.7 percent from the same point last year.

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For more information contact: AAR Media Relations at [email protected] or 202-639-2345.

About AAR: The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world’s leading railroad policy, research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at www.aar.org.

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